Thrilling Showdown: Australia and Pakistan Face off in 1st Test 2023/24

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Allrounder Marsh thrashed the Pakistan attack in the opening session of day two while Australia built a large first innings total in the series opening Test at Optus Stadium. He reached lunch unbeaten on 90 and made the surface appear flat however he was aided by a Pakistan attack that did not show much intensity. Marsh has thrived playing his first Test at Optus Stadium having dominated on his home ground over the years in the BBL for Perth Scorchers. He also justified the faith of selectors who stuck with him over Western Australia team-mate Green. Marsh and Carey had laid the ground work after seeing off the new ball late on day one to continue Australia’s dominant start to the series. With Australia resuming at 346 for 5, after Warner’s century dominated day one, Pakistan needed to strike with the relatively new ball and spearhead Afridi was tasked with clawing his side back into the contest. It was a cautious start until Marsh pounced on a short delivery from debutant quick Shahzad. Fellow debutant Jamal had expressed Pakistan’s goal of bowling Australia out an hour into the day’s play, but those hopes quickly eroded and their bowling became more ragged. Afridi out of desperation resorted to slower balls which failed to have the desired effect. Marsh unfurled his muscular batting with powerful strokes around the wicket, particularly taking a liking to short-pitched deliveries. But then just before drinks, Carey was bowled by an unplayable delivery from Jamal. Marsh counterattacked and smashed Jamal for six over midwicket as he inched closer to his fourth Test century. A 16,000 day one crowd was seen as a good result from local officials despite much higher targets initially and the parochial fans might be tempted to descend in numbers after lunch with their hometown hero taking center stage.

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